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Witness: Kathi Alexandrakis
Location: Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, Illinois
Date of Encounter: 1931

My mother (who passed away in 1994) had an encounter with the supernatural when she was about 10 years old, living under the auspices of Catholic Charities, at Maryville Academy located in Des Plaines, IL.

In the Depression era, there were many children living at that facility who were orphans, half-orphans, abandoned, etc. My mom at the time was a half-orphan, but her father was unable to care for her and her siblings.

The kids at Maryville made the best of a bad situation, and many formed close friendships that took the place of family. Togetherness was a given, as they slept dormitory-style, 10 beds to a room. Being kids, they loved to amuse themselves after "lights out" by telling each other ghost stories. But one night, they had a real-life encounter!

Whispering in the dark, they heard the telltale sounds of a "sister" (nun), coming down the hallway. The slow click of low heels, the swishing of robes, and even the sound of the rosary shifting, were unmistakable. Everyone quieted down immediately, and pretended they were asleep. The footsteps turned in at the door, as the nun came to check on the children. From my mother's bed, she had a clear view of the doorway, and she saw…nothing! The invisible form walked down the row between the beds, footsteps still clearly audible. By this time, my mother was in absolute terror, but fascinated, too. And then, the "walker" went back to the doorway, but stopped at the foot of my mother's bed. To her horror, the invisible figure sat down on the end of the bed! The pressure and weight was that of a live person, and whoever or whatever it was, it was sitting partly on my mom's feet. That was the final straw…my mom was convinced she must have fainted, because the next thing she knew, the wake-up bell was ringing throughout the girls dormitory.

My mom did some investigation afterward, asking around, and some of the kids were convinced that the invisible visitor was one of the nuns who had died at Maryville over the years, perhaps during the Influenza epidemic in 1918. She was still checking on the kids, from the afterlife, just to see if everything was ok.

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